Tick-borne disease. Brain disorders. Increasing demands for clean, sustainable water. Washington State University graduate students are finding solutions to these problems – and more – with the support of the Washington Research Foundation. And thanks to the foundation’s most recent gift, emerging scientists at WSU and UW will be supported for years to come.
Washington Research Foundation (WRF) recently donated $1.65 million to support ARCS Foundation Seattle Chapter endowments held at WSU and UW, with the intention to fund annual ARCS scholar awards at both universities in perpetuity.
This gift deepens WRF’s long-standing commitment to supporting graduate students who conduct transformative research with potential for real-world impact in natural sciences and engineering. WRF seeks to cultivate the talents of outstanding, early career researchers in Washington state so their work may benefit the public through innovative discovery that leads to new products, services, or practices. Since 1996, WRF has supported 132 ARCS scholars at WSU and UW through a combination of endowed annual contributions.
“We could not be more pleased with our support of ARCS scholars over the past two-plus decades,” said Brooks Simpson, WRF’s board chair. “These talented young scientists have been able to select WSU or UW for their graduate programs due in part to these awards, which is a win-win. Our research universities are more able to attract the best graduate students, and the students get the finest education in their disciplines.”
Graduate students, said Meher Antia, Ph.D., WRF’s director of grant programs, make crucial contributions to advancing research and innovation at Washington state’s universities.
She noted, “WRF funding for ARCS scholars through the years recognizes their scientific excellence and dedication, and we are delighted that this endowment will continue to do so in the future.”
The 15 WRF-supported ARCS scholars are just a few of the 170+ graduate students that the ARCS Foundation Seattle Chapter supports each year. ARCS Foundation Seattle Chapter was founded in 1978, as one of 15 chapters nationwide to provide financial awards to graduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and health disciplines. To date, the Seattle Chapter has supported over 1,400 STEM scholars at WSU and UW with awards totaling more than $21.2 million.
“WRF’s donation is the single largest endowment gift to ARCS, and we couldn’t be more appreciative,” said ARCS Seattle Chapter President Margaret Niver McGann. “Best of all, WRF’s support of ARCS scholars extends far beyond the financial by providing ARCS scholars with opportunities that enhance their future as STEM leaders in Washington state.”
Since 1958, ARCS Foundation has awarded more than $121 million to over 11,000 scholars nationwide. ARCS Foundation scholars have produced thousands of research publications and patents, secured billions in grant funding, started science-related companies, and played a significant role in teaching and mentoring young people in the STEM pipeline.
Lisa Gloss, dean of the WSU Graduate School said, “ARCS scholar awards have a powerful impact on the ability of WSU to recruit the most competitive young scientists to pursue doctoral studies in a range of fields from engineering to physical, plant, biomedical and veterinary sciences that address important, interdisciplinary problems facing society. The endowment from WRF ensures and expands the investment that the WSU-ARCS partnership can make in the lives and successful careers of these graduate students.”
WSU ARCS Scholar and Graduate Research Assistant in the Moreau Group in the Chemistry Department, Natalie Yaw plans to channel her passion for chemistry along a path that will have a positive and lasting impact on the environment.
She said, “Being an ARCS scholar allows me to invest in technology that expedites my research, things that I would not be able to acquire on a baseline graduate stipend. The added financial support is part of the reason I chose to pursue my graduate research at WSU.”